In Milan it was the first Saturday of May and a light rain was falling. He found the way easily. It's not in the centre of the city, nor in the suburbs. It's a quiet street with an important name. The home he was looking for was hiding behind a doorway and a courtyard. When it was opened, just inside the door he trampled some wooden slats. The umbrella was dripping and he motioned to leave it in the grey closet on the left. He thought it was almost like being at home, but not quite. He climbed three steps. Only then was he really in the apartment.
He leaned on the piano. From there the view ranged to the dining area, the living room, the kitchen. To unify the vast domestic landscape was terrazzo flooring in grey and green stones, similar to flooring seen in famous post World War II Milanese houses. The wainscoting was grey from the skirting to the doors. He pulled out a folding ruler: the skirting measured 20 cm, the doors were 210 cm high with 15 cm of upper lintel. He replaced the ruler in his pocket. He turned to the great floor to ceiling bookcase in oak wood. The hook shaped bookcase enveloped the piano’s corner and ran long all the way to the window located next to the kitchen.
He continued towards a short corridor, closed at the back by a door surmounted by an open window, square and swivel, from which came the sound of a trumpet toy. The children, of course. It was then that in the middle of the grey door opened a small rectangular window which immediately closed again. He resolved then to retrace his steps.
Bathrooms? He asked. Two. One, the main one, just beyond the entrance. The other placed next to the children's room. Both marked by a terrazzo flooring with grey and yellow stones. Then he walked into the living room. It was hard to tell where it finished and where the kitchen began. Then he realized that the living room was awash with colour with a complete history, the Jekyll & Hyde by Lorenzo Mattotti. Then he turned towards the terrace. The rain had stopped. He was told there would be no problem to go outside. The railing overlooked a Milanese courtyard. The floor was patterned with triangular tiles in three colors. Asplund? He asked. Asplund. He was told.
The kitchen consisted of a central blue island by a refrigerator block with the same green color as the 1963 Jim Clark’s Lotus Climax, and by a simple white counter stretching under a large square window. He looked out over a terrace full of empty tables and closed umbrellas. A well-known local public was informed. At that moment, a waiter was wiping with a white cloth many plastic chairs. But let’s see this lamp, he went on. He looked up at a long horizontal metal English green rod from which hung four simple light bulbs. Towards the piano, to close the rod was a large disc of the same colour which had at the centre another bulb. Like Loos at Café Museum, a little bit Potence by Jean Prouvé, he understood. The Colour? Stone Blue 86 Farrow & Ball to be precise. They continued.
They had arrived at the door of the studio: a revolving door, a large glass square, opened into the colourful wall of books. He requested an explanation. This is the memory of a North American car trip a few years ago, he was told: Donal Judd at Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. He nodded briefly then took a few steps toward the piano.
The other opening that ran through the wall of books was narrow and very high. He pushed the door with a sort of slight awe. He found himself in the parents' bedroom. A large blue wardrobe formed a wall, a yellow wardrobe stood next to this. He inquired, also in the children’s bedroom a wall was made up by a large wardrobe with two colours, red and blue.
When they returned to the living room the children were out of their room and they were pressing some keys on the piano. Outside the tables were filling with people. The Saturday evening’s air was typical of May and waiting. The windows were opened. Once again, he was intrigued and looked for explanations. He was told that within a few minutes an evening of ballroom dance would begin with a live orchestra.
- Design: Paolo Moretto
- Coordination and site supervision: Paolo Moretto, Andrea Treu
- General contractor: SO.GE.CA. srl
- Design and site supervision installations: Enrico Peruchetti Lab-E
- Water, drainage and plumbing: CFS Impianti srl
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning: VMC Italia srl
- Electrical control system: All Electric snc
- Bespoke furniture: Verri arredamenti snc
- Wooden windows: Falegnameria Aresi snc
- Terrazzo flooring: Bonazza & Cara srl
- Metal works: Pietro Landi snc
- Photographs: Marina Caneve
- Text: Tommaso Tagliabue